Archive for October, 2015

Conquer the Cobbles in Richmond

At the UCI Road World Championship in Richmond, VA, there was an amateur event called Conquer the Cobbles. This event presented nearly anyone with the opportunity to ride the World Championship course for up to two hours on Friday night. Of course, I took advantage of this opportunity. Along with 1,300 of my closest friends.

The event was from 7:00 – 9:00 and both headlights and taillights were required. Not only was this for safety, but as I later came to understand, 1,300 riders with lights makes for a pretty cool show for the locals! In addition to riding this course and it’s tough cobbled sections at night, sure enough, it rained for the whole event. It was a steady but light rain, so not too bad, but those cobbles were like oil slicks from the rain!

I borrowed a friend’s GoPro so I could take video of the route and I ran my rear-view Fly6 as well. Along with a Strava flyover, I put it all into one (almost) synchronized video to memorialize the occasion. And for those of you that want to get an idea without watching for a half hour, I pointed out some of the best moments in the video. Trust me, if you’ve never raced on cobbles, you need to at least watch those sections. And, yes, it’s as bumpy as it looks! I also caught a few really well executed turns (if I do say so myself) so my non-riding friends can get an idea of how close we come to the barriers.

Below the video are a few photos as well…

Event Photos:

My friend John and one of his teammates at the start.

 

George Hincapie (who seems to be at every one of these events!)

George Hincapie (who seems to be at every one of these events!)

 

After the ride I found my friend Angelo - also visiting from New York.

After the ride I found my friend Angelo – also visiting from New York.

 

The first "Flemish Tan" that I feel like I truly earned on the cobbles.

The first “Flemish Tan” that I feel like I truly earned on the cobbles.

 

Review: 2016 GFNY Limar Ultralight+ Helmet

helmetgwb[1]The updated GFNY Limar Ultralight+ helmets have arrived, and they are awesome! Uli already did a write up here, but I wanted to say a little more about it after a few enjoyable rides.

First and foremost, as Uli already noted, this helmet is a “barely there” kind of feeling because it is so light and fits nicely on your head. And Uli also mentioned that the only notable change is to the strap system. Well, that deserves a further mention.

I personally struggle, with every helmet, to find a balance in straps that are comfortable and straps that are secure. Most often, when properly snug, they brush or tug at the bottom of my ears in a way that I can’t stop noticing. Even the previous Limar design, which was better than most, was a bit uncomfortable for me. But this new design somehow “spreads” the straps a little more so the “V” under my ear remains, well under my ear! The back knob adjustment seems to be part of this new placement – while it doesn’t feel like it’s lower on the back of my head (and shouldn’t) it somehow lowers the posterior strap just enough to make a huge difference in comfort.

I noticed the improved straps immediately upon wearing the helmet. But, honestly, I thought it was just the “newness effect” and after a few rides I’d be back where I started. Not so! After a few hundred miles including one very wet day, I can say that this is far and away the most comfortable helmet I’ve ever worn. It was already lightweight and nice on the noggin, but now the improved strap system is icing on the cake.

And the straps themselves have seen an upgrade, too. The lowly “chinstrap” which, in nearly every sport with a helmet is precisely the same – ugly and uncomfortable – is now a feature for discussion. First, this one is vented; which, OMG, why hasn’t someone does this before?!? Second, it’s black; because, duh, have you seen what a white strap looks like after just a few months of use?!? Thank you, Limar, for giving me a strap that is black on purpose!

Finally, let’s not forget the look of the helmet. The new coloring and decals are super slick and a perfect way to top off (pun intended) a slick GFNY green kit. I’ll bet you haven’t taken a long, hard look at your helmet lately, but you should. And if it doesn’t live up to the expectations I’ve set here, or it’s just old and needs replacing, order the GFNY Limar Ultralight+ today.

** Sorry, view of the NYC skyline is not included with purchase. Unless you register for the GFNY 2016 event and join our Gruppo Sportivo GFNY Sunday rides, of course!